Charity Demands For Change of ‘Outdated’ Lottery Limit

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A cancer charity chief is backing a campaign. She is calling for the UK Government to overhaul “outdated” lottery funding rules which are denying charities millions of pounds.

At the moment, the amount charities can raise through their own lottery ticket sales is £10 million a year – a limit set in 2005 to protect sales of the National Lottery.

Laura Lee, chief executive of Maggie’s, says;

“More people could be given essential cancer support if the rules are reformed.”

Charities want this raised to £100m a year, with the amount per draw rising from £4m to £10m. Dame Kelly Holmes and Dame Ellen MacArthur are among those calling for a law change which they say would save on administration costs as well as earning more money for charities.

Their argument that charity lotteries do not affect National Lottery sales was backed earlier this year.  The Gambling Commission, the official Government regulator, carried out an investigation into the issue.

Small charities are feeling the effects.  As a result of the current fundraising limits, grant-giving trusts funded by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery say they are having to turn down four out of five applications for funding from local charities.

Charity lotteries raised £255m last year, over £21m a month. This benefitted charities and communities across the UK, from hospices and air ambulances to museums, sports teams, and community halls.

Lee will add her voice to the campaign at an SNP party conference fringe event. She will be part of a panel discussing the problem.

She said raising the turnover cap to £100m would give her charity a “greater ability to provide essential cancer support to more people”.

“At Maggie’s we rely almost entirely on voluntary donations to run our network of cancer support centres.

“The support we receive from players of People’s Postcode Lottery enables us to be truly responsive to local need.

Furthermore, they “use funds where they can be best used to support people affected by cancer,” said Lee.

“The way things stand the £10m turnover limit means that, as the number of players grow, organisations such as Maggie’s receive less funding. That is why we support an increase to the annual turnover limit and the draw limit.

“Higher limits in each would potentially see an increase in funds raised and a reduction in administrative costs”

In conclusion, this would lead to a “greater ability to provide essential cancer support to more people.

“This change would not only benefit Maggie’s but a significant number of other good causes across Great Britain.”

Maggie’s has 22 cancer support centres across the UK. She has been in a ten-year partnership with players of People’s Postcode Lottery, receiving almost £12m over the past decade.

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